How to defend your fees and come out on top


How to defend your fees and come out on topPricing is a difficult (and sometimes touchy) conversation. It’s also a sensitive one and I personally find that my defences come up a little quickly when my fees are compared to other content writers and copywriters in the market. Especially when more often than not - apples are being compared with pears.

When faced with confrontation from a potential client about your fees, how do you react? Even if you feel insulted that your value is being underestimated, do you handle it with dignity or simply hit the ‘delete’ button?

Only this week, I successfully turned a bargain hunter into a new client and I thought it was worth sharing just how I did this.

The scenario: I received a website enquiry about the fees of my services. After replying with an informal quote, I was met with a response along the lines of “I can get 500 words of content written for $20-25.”

Here’s how I turned this bargain hunter into new client:

I acknowledged that my fees are higher than some

I know that my fees are reflective of the value I bring my clients. Yes, they’re higher than many alternative content options and I acknowledge this fact. I also acknowledge the fact that my services are not always necessary.  For example: I focus on high quality content that’s hand-crafted for engagement and conversion. Website content, landing pages, sales letters, email campaigns for example. If the requirement for content is volume-based or has less need to convert or drive results, then perhaps lower quality copywriters would suffice here.

At the same time, I also acknowledge that many small businesses can’t afford to pay high fees for content they need on a weekly basis. Take a blog post as a great example. I often say to clients to let me write three or four blog posts to set the style and tone – then they can use this as their template for future posts. I’m not ignorant to think that the average small business can afford to outsource all content. I’m also respectful of the need to watch the purse strings – I do it too!

I provided constructive background on how apples are not pears

I wanted to ensure the person I was speaking with understood how my services differed from the services of a $20 per article writer. Not to justify my fees to myself, but to ensure that he was empowered to make a well-informed decision for his business.

I spent a fair bit of time explaining how experienced writers work, what is involved in the briefing process, the science behind what we do and more. Even though at the time I didn’t think my handling of the situation would lead to a new business relationship, I didn’t feel I was wasting my time. I felt I was investing time into helping someone make sense of a confusing marketplace.

I’m remained professional and respectful

Whatever business you’re in, your reputation precedes you. Losing you cool is never cool. Not once did I let me ego take over.  It turns out that my new client was very impressed with the way I handled our discussions and how much I believe in the value I bring to the table.

This brings me to the most important point of all…


Fosca Pacitto

Marketing and Content Specialist at Fosca Pacitto

Although a genius wordsmith, my true passion lies in helping people get closer to owning the business of their dreams - through mindset mentoring, strategy services and awesome content that reflects their true personality. I'm also innately excited about anything to do with business and celebrating the talents of women, that's why I recently took over as the Sydney Branch Director for Business in Heels - a networking group for fabulous female business owners.

Comments (2)
Phil Joel

Phil Joel, Director at SavvySME

Thank you for sharing this real life story Fosca. It's never always about price. You did a fantastic job in demonstrating your value.

Fosca Pacitto

Fosca Pacitto, Marketing and Content Specialist at Fosca Pacitto

Thanks Phil!